Buttermilk Biscuits

August 15, 2011


There is not much that can beat a hot buttermilk biscuit right out of the oven popped open and slathered with real butter and honey.  Granted sourdough french toast runs a close second but…  Light and fluffy biscuits can be elusive for some, me in particular, for a long time.  There was “something” I kept doing wrong, it took me for ever to figure out what it was.  Pity The Husband as he ate A LOT of poor biscuits before I hit upon the secret of a good biscuit.  Gravy can hide a multitude of bad biscuits but hopefully with the few key things you will not have to hide your biscuits under gravy.

OK here we go…when you make biscuits you have to treat them like your grandmother’s best dishes that are only brought out at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Gently and with respect.  You would not clank the dinner plate up against the side of the sink when washing them or toss them in the dishwasher, right?  Well when working with the dough for these biscuits you want to man handle them as little as possible.  The less you work the dough the lighter and more layers you will end up with also when you cut out the biscuits if you do not have a sharp biscuit cutter you can use a board scraper or knife to cut them (do not use a glass or cup the edges will not cut the dough, it will compress the dough) or you can do like I do when taking them to Commerce and make a Uni-biscuit (Thanks to Keith W. my Boss for the naming of this method!).  I know you are thinking what in the world is a uni-biscuit…right?  A uni-biscuit is when I take all the dough and toss it into a baking dish and put it into the oven without cutting them out.  The uni-biscuit is the 9th wonder of the world for me.  Anyway the second most important thing you have to remember is to NOT twist the cutter when you press down.  When you press and twist you seal the edges and your biscuit can only puff up in the middle while the edges being sealed will not allow the layers to expand.  With the care of using grated butter to make little pockets of steam which in turn makes a flaky layered biscuit you don’t want to retard the ability of it to expand by sealing the edges. Finally do not over mix…you are not wanting to work up the gluten in the biscuits so to keep that from happening you want to stir or re-mold this dough as few times as possible.  Like with the scones you want to see the lumps of butter and its OK to have some flour not completely worked in to the dough when your turn it out on the board.  On to the recipe…Oh and click on the photos to get a close up especially the third from the bottom, you do not want to miss the layers that pop out at you.

Buttermilk Biscuits

500 gr Self Rising Flour

1 1/2 c Buttermilk

1 stick(1/2 c) Butter (frozen)

Toss all the flour into a mixing bowl and grate frozen butter into the flour.  You will have to work quickly to get it grated and tossed into the flour before it softens, I use exam gloves to lessen the heat transfer from your hands to the butter.

Work quick at this point you want the butter as cold as possible

Toss with the flour to coat

Make a well in the middle  of the flour to pour the buttermilk into.  Pour about 3/4 of the Buttermilk into the well and start stirring in the buttermilk if things are still rather dry add a small amount of the remaining buttermilk being careful to not get the dough to wet (if you do then its Uni-biscuit time WOOT!)

This is about 3/4ths of the total buttermilk

Just barely mixed together

Turn the dough out onto a LIGHTLY floured board/counter.  Be very light handed with flouring the surface as a heavily floured board will added too much flour will make the biscuits tough. GENTLY knead the dough only long enough to work in any loose flour from the mixing bowl.  It should not be more than 3 or 4 turns to get it all incorporated.  Gently pat into the thickness you desire, I do mine about 1″ thick, then cut out.  Remember press only, not twist and press. Run your cutter thought some Flour to keep the dough from sticking to the cutter.

Just barely flour your surface

On the board, you can see the crumble-y bits to work in

Press straight down and pull straight back up

Heading to the oven

Now into the oven at 350 for about 30-45 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Rise my little friends…

This is what you get from pressing and not twisting

Golden perfection

I serve these with honey butter or homemade Peach Brandy Jam…or the old stand by sausage milk gravy.

Yes they do taste as good as they look…

Now go play with your food.



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2 Comments on “Buttermilk Biscuits”

  1. Hungry Neophyte Says:

    So light…so flakey



    • Wikijancooks Says:

      Better than any “Whomp’um canned” biscuits as The Husband terms them

      Although thinking about it now canned biscuits do have a few usages…

      1. Quick and easy steamed dumplings
      2. Quick “doughnuts” if you fry them
      3. To pull apart and see the distributions of “fat lumps” which cause those spaces of air when they melt.

      Otherwise why bother as these are quick to toss together and pop in the oven.




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